Supt. Kelly’s issues statement on Revere Teachers Association matter

Superintendent Dianne Kelly issues the following statement is response to a Revere Teachers Association press release that was circulated following last week’s Revere School Committee Executive Session.
This shall serve to clarify the facts that relate to statements provided by the Revere Teachers Association to the press regarding the alleged “unfair punishments” on teachers for conduct at the A.C. Whelan School. The facts are as follows: the Revere Public Schools has had a breakfast in the classroom program at the Whelan School for six years and the teachers’ roles in implementing that program have been similar over those past six years. Teachers have been and continue to be responsible to note which students take a daily breakfast. In its current form, this task requires a teacher to open a software program and simply click on the students obtaining breakfast (not the specific breakfast items). The District has provided clear directives on how our teachers are to complete this task and nearly all relevant teachers have been completing this task with no issue. This important program ensures that our students are able to start their day with a nutritious breakfast and to be certain that none have missed out. When these counts are not taken, our federal funding is reduced.
Unfortunately, some teachers intentionally did not complete the required task and received appropriate consequences. As discipline is a personnel matter, the District will not be commenting on the specific teachers or specific consequences; however, teachers have the ability to challenge the consequences imposed by following the grievance policy put forth in the collective bargaining agreement – and some are currently doing that.
On Jan. 30, 2020, the School Committee, consistent with the collective bargaining agreement, heard teachers’ grievances. In compliance with the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law these grievances were heard in private, executive session, and were not open to the public. Prior to the January 30th meeting, the District learned that the Union would be encouraging a “flash mob” to appear at the meeting. As the meeting was scheduled to begin while students were still in the building, the District appropriately had security staff available to assist with any crowd control. In fact the Union concedes that “approximately 100” people appeared and engaged in a loud demonstration. The security staff did nothing beyond implementing routine sign-in policies and being present to ensure that students’ safety and order were preserved. The crowd was allowed to conduct its demonstration prior to the meeting.
The District works very hard to collaborate with all of its unions in building a culture around mutual respect, teacher empowerment, and positive relationships. “Dignity and respect” have always been and continue to be focal points of our work together.
We look forward to moving forward so the Whelan teachers and the rest of the District can re-focus all energy toward educating our students.

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